Skip to main content
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
Lyrasis Members and Sloan Foundation
Delaware Valley College
Dr. Karen Schramm
1999-2000 Gleaner Staff
Elizabeth Ann Leiter
Front & Inside Back Cover: Dr. Karen Schramm
Back Cover: Jodi Paterno
Special thanks to the following:
Dr. Linda Maisel for coordinating the Gleaner High
School Writing Competition
Mrs. Edna Manlove for her technical assistance.
Mr. Barry Denlinger and PTGraphics, Inc.,
for their time and generosity.
You built me castles -
Big, beautiful palaces
With rooms and quarters
To call my own.
You built me castles
And made them real to me.
You gave me all I asked,
Nothing less and nothing more.
Built along the beach -
My castle stands
For every wandering eye to see
These wonders all my own
Sacred in my fantasy.
Furnished by your gentle words
And carved by your loving han
You built me castles,
Built them in all honesty.
But alas, my friend,
The waves camprtff
And washed my dast*
Tracy J. Hall
WHERE UNCERTAINTY REPLACES BEING
Don 't be ashamed.
Grasp the beauty
None of these hold
For I shall see you
for who you are.
Give me the time. ..
to expose what is pure
Behind the dark,
an incandescent glow
fades to black,
in your eyes.
FOREVER AND A DAY
In my room, sitting with you.
Nothing else seems to matter
I am completely at peace,
-Lost in your eyes
Allowing my innermost, hidden
thoughts and feelings to
Fly freely around us,
~~Like delicate butterflies showing
off their new wings in
the first days of Spring.
Looking at you,
~Your expressions as I let
I know there is nothing more
I could want.
In you I have found myself.
All that I am;
All that I want to be
With you, I have learned to
Lighten my heart.
Laugh with sincerity.
And hold on to hope.
Hope that we will be the couple
who enjoy each other's company
until the end of time.
Every day, I fall more into
The bottomlessness that is love
I see you and my heart jumps.
I am lost out in the cold, in the rain,
drowning myself in stress and fears
And it is you who shows me warmth
And gives me shelter in your arms.
No words could ever begin to touch upon
the extent to which
I love you.
I just wish you could know
How happy you make me.
You are my piece of
heaven on earth-
~a taste of what is in store
Please remember always
that you are mine
as I am yours-
Forever and a day
I love you!
The sterile air that swirled around the laboratory had an almost metallic taste to it.
Everything in sight was dull white, from floor to ceiling, counter to counter, and all the
machines. It was the best color to detect dirt and chemical spills. The only color marring
the perfect whiteness was from the large metal casks of liquid nitrogen housing the cryopre-
served embryos and tissue cultures.
Lab technician Shannon Johnston watched as her coworker, Aaron Cranage, very care-
fully pipetted 5.00 mL of media. In their line of work, accuracy was extremely important.
One slip-up could lead to contamination, effectively destroying the entire experiment. Aaron
finished with his tissue culture and stuck the petri dish in the incubator. When he saw
Shannon looking at him, he obnoxiously stuck his tongue out.
"You know, the bacteria on your tongue could contaminate this entire lab," she stated.
"How very romantic," he said with a disgusted look on his face. "Where's the mad
It took Shannon a moment to realize he was talking about their boss, Dr. Garner.
'Mad scientist' was an apt description. His slivery hair flew in all directions; some believing
it had never seen the teeth of a comb. His smudged glasses only accentuate the hugeness of
his eyes. It seemed he tried to keep his face clean-shaven, but usually by the end of the week
he had quite a lot of stubble. The clothes he wore were always rumpled and frequently
stained. His conversations were one-sided, with him spouting on and on about his current
project in words only a person with an advanced degree could understand. Yet, for all his
faults, he was an extremely intelligent and caring man.
Shannon shrugged, "I have no idea where Dr. Garner is, but doesn't he seem
tight-lipped about this new experiment?"
"Come to think of it, I haven't had to look up any scientifically impossible words
yet this month. Do you know what he's up to?"
"All I know is that the project is being funded by an independent corporation. I
heard the name when they initially contacted us. It had 'on the Coast' as part of the name,
but I can't remember the rest of it. They apparently have had no success at other labs with
whatever they are trying to do so they came to get Dr. Garner's expertise," she explained.
"Sounds fishy to me." Aaron glanced at his watch. "I've got to run down to pick up.
The specimens from the local supplier should be here by now. I've got to get those tissue
samples into cold storage before they defrost. Bye!" he waved as he ran out the door.
"See ya. Hey, I think I'll ask Dr. Garner what's going on next time I see him!" she
yelled after him.
"Let me know what you find out!" he called back from halfway down the hallway.
Two Days Later
Shannon watched lazily as her cells spun in the centrifuge. Normal routine work like
cell counting for viability was all she had to occupy her time since Dr. Garner had not let
her in on the new project. She knew he had to journey into the lab eventually today to get
the updated progress reports, and she intended to be there when he arrived. If she asked just
right, she knew he would never be able to resist letting her in on the secret.
As her cell counter clicked away, she heard the door open very quietly into the room.
The shuffling noises behind her told her that the intruder was trying to remain unnoticed.
Shannon stopped the clicking. "Dr. Garner?" she asked without turning around.
The shuffling stopped and a good-natured voice spoke out. "Ah Shannon, you
caught me. I was just sneaking in to get those reports without disturbing you."
Shannon turned to find him in his usual attire of baggy, oversized gray pants and a
wrinkled plaid shirt. His favorite lab coat was no longer white but a pale yellow. A blue
chemical stain was splashed absentmindedly across the front and the bottom was frayed and
torn. He had a pair of eye goggles stuck in his front pocket and a sealed test tube in his
hand. He placed the tube on the desk as he routed around for the progress reports.
She took a deep breath. "Dr. Garner, do you have anything for me to work on with the
A sad look crossed his face before he answered. "Alas, the project is top secret as
desired by the contractors. All I can tell you is that the work we are doing is revolutionary!"
His face brightened. "I promise that if this research succeeds, I shall personally show you
the results. It may take a long time. Are you up for the wait?"
"Definitely," she said as he grabbed the reports and left. It was a moment before she
realized he'd left the sealed test tube lying on the desk. She picked it up and rushed out the
door, but it was too late. He was gone.
She walked back in the lab, the tube gently held between her fingers. Thoughts on
what to do with it floated through her mind. She knew that the correct procedure was to
call the main lab and have them report the mistake to Dr. Garner. Unfortunately, her
curiosity was dangerously gnawing at her brain. Before she could stop herself, she
unwrapped a sterile pipette and drew up 0.001 mL of the unknown liquid. As she focused
the microscope on the cells, images of the end of her career swam in front of her eyes. Yet,
it was too late to turn back now. The deed had already been done.
She slid the microscope lens in place for higher magnification and observed the cells.
There was not an abnormal amount of deformed or irregular cells. Carefully, she got a sin-
gle cell in the early dividing stages in the center of her view and attempted to count the
chromosomes. Whatever these cells were from, it wasn't human, mouse, or rat because the
numbers weren't right.
"What are you doing?"
Shannon jumped at the voice behind her, letting out a high-pitched squeak.
"What's so interesting that you didn't even hear me come in?" he smiled, his eyes
wandering over to the microscope.
Shannon tensed, knowing he'd get the truth out of her soon enough. Without delay-
ing too much, she blurted out her whole deception. He could have run to the phone and
reported her, but instead he said, "Let me see."
As she stepped aside, she said, "You realize that by looking, you are putting your
career in as much jeopardy as mine."
"Understood." He peered in, adjusting the focus for his own eyes. "Wow, this looks like
horse DNA." He turned the knob a little more. "There seems to be some mutations though. I
can't tell what kind of phenotypic changes will result either. Could be interesting," he said as
he got up. "Now you'd better report that thing."
"I will. Thanks Aaron," she said as she disposed of the evidence. Aaron had dis-
pelled some of her fear, but the nagging thought of Dr. Garner's disapproval tugged at
her for a long time.
Thirteen Months Later
The warm sun felt delicious on Shannon's back as she walked from the parking lot to
the lab. Nothing had ever come of her indiscretion and she'd received a promotion to head
lab tech a couple of months back.
"Shannon!" A smile came to her face as a disheveled Dr. Garner rushed out of the lab
towards her. "It's time!"
"Time for what?" she asked confused.
"To view the results of the secret experiment. I have been successful and I never for-
get a promise." He took her by the arm and they climbed into his car.
For miles she listened as he told her all about his new project, this time not top
secret. At one point he turned down a bumpy, dirt road and Shannon wondered just where
they were going. They finally stopped in front of an immaculate farmhouse.
"They should be around back," Dr. Garner said as he led her towards the barn.
"There," he said, pointing to the horses.
Shannon moved closer until she was right next to the high wooden fence surround-
ing a large piece of grassy land. There were a couple of mothers with foals across the field,
but the one closest seemed to draw her eyes. It was a well-formed male with a shining
white coat. The deep blue eyes flicked over her and then strayed
back to his mother. The most remarkable feature,
however, was the small golden horn emerging
for his forehead.
"A unicorn," Shannon breathed.
"He is my miracle," Dr. Garner
whispered. "This discovery can be so
dangerous if in the wrong hands, so I
do not intend to publish it." He
quieted as they watched the young
unicorn burst in a fit of speed to
play with the other foals.
"A beautiful miracle,"
Shannon said and
turned back to
Dr. Richard Ziemer
POLITICS, POWER, AND YOU
How few and highly ceremonial are the occasions in one's lifetime when a new monarch is crowned or laid to
rest. The third king of Israel, Solomon, succeeded David, his father, who had succeeded King Saul. His inau-
gural remarks are highly spiritual in nature-a prayer, if you please-and are recorded in the first book of the
Kings of Israel, chapter 8. A reading of the entire chapter recounts many areas of life-social, familial, political,
environmental, and international-for which he prays. It is a testimony to spiritual energy.
How different is this occasion from many others throughout history-and even in our nation's own ceremony
of witnessing the swearing in of our President. The brief ceremony, during which a Bible may be used,
becomes an occasion for a political platform and is followed by extravagant and multiple celebrations.
To lay the groundwork for I Kings 8, we must first examine Deuteronomy 17: 14-20, in which God directed
Moses that when Israel does get a king, he is not to multiply horses to himself, nor marry many wives, nor
accumulate great amounts of gold and silver. We later see that Solomon violated all of these in spite of his 40-
year reign of peace as king. He was to write his own copy of the law and keep it with him.
For the wisest man reputed to have lived and about whom movies have been made, note the tenor of his inau-
gural prayer in I Kings 8: instead of its being a political agenda, it is a prayer, instead of promoting self-inter-
est or political aggrandizement, it honors God; instead of being offered by a priest or rabbi, it is offered by the
monarch himself-King Solomon-in the temple which he built for the IX) RD.
In the several divisions of verses in this chapter King Solomon addresses various focuses:
Verse 31, "When someone wrongs his neighbor and his contrition brings him before God, then forgive him."
Verse 33, "When the nation has been defeated by an enemy because of wrongdoing, and it comes in contri-
tion to seek supplication from God, then hear the people and forgive them."
Verse 35, "When there is drought because of the nation's wrongdoing and the people turn back to God, then
hear them and send rain."
Verse 37, "When a famine or disease plagues the land, and the people call on God, then forgive them and
Verse 41, "When the foreigner hears of God's fame and visits the land and prays toward this temple, then
grant them their requests."
Verse 46, "When Israelis sin against God and are taken captive by an enemy and have a change of heart
toward God, then hear their prayer and forgive them."
After making all these personal, political, environmental, health-related, and globally-related petitions to God,
he pronounces in verse 59 and 60, "May these words of mine which I have prayed before the LORD be near
to the LORD our God day and night, that He may uphold the cause of his servant and his people Israel
according to each day's need, so that all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that
there is no other."
After the ceremony and prayer ended, the king blessed the people, threw a party that lasted two weeks, and
then everyone went to his own house. Later, when a foreign monarach-the Queen of Sheba-paid Solomon a
visit and saw his zoo, the temple, and servants, she was impressed and said, "I never even heard the half of it!"
Ode to an Abusive Ex
I want to see your face
Cause you're still so beautiful to me
But looking at your eyes
Washes me in memories
I see your eyes all smiley
And full of love for me
I see your eyes all angry
And full of yatreb and envy.
I want to smash your face in
And ground it in broken glass
Then maybe you won't seem so smug
And so hateful and so gorgeous
And so envious and so mean
And everything you always/never were.
So r(( put my blinders on
So that I don't have to see you
Cause the hurt's so bad
And the hate's so much
And if I see you smirking
At me one more time
I'll either crumble...
why can't you get out of my life!
Marlena C. Balliett
DREAMS ARE . . .
Dreams are happy
They can be scary
Dreams can be visions
of times to come,
of past experiences.
Dreams are wishes
They can be real
or made up.
In any direction they go
or any path they take
Sometimes you are
glad they are there.
Others you're not sure
how to feel.
Giddy as a school girl
or as blue as the moon.
Sometimes you get hurt,
expecting results that just never appear
or you smile with the outcome.
Once the dream is planted
it grows a tree,
A tree of hope and love and desire.
KA/oRAA/CE IS ELKS
There are times when I wish I cficfn t know how to grieve or fee! pain
Vv/pen people cfie,
I woufcjn t unqerstancj
Sc I woufcjn t cry.
I woufcln t fo^ow what it s fifce
To cry pecause X woulcfn t feel empathy
por people ancf their families.
I woulcfn t f?e apfe to fathom
Crying during a peautiful song
Or even cry when Xm happy.
X woulcfn t Pe aple to feel sacfness
Or cfespair for people
That are close to me when they feel safcf,
Or when they cfie.
These are all nice things in theory
But feeling ancf having emotions are part of living,
At least they re part of me.
Through it all this is wh^t X cf want myself to pe.
Having feelings is part of peing human
Xts what mafces us special.
Xf <W cficfn t want us to feel,
He woulcf Ve macfe everything perfect,
Because pacf things happen, ancf He
Vv/eulcJ ve macfe everyone the same.
But he was smarter than that,
He macfe people imperfect ancf emotional.
So Mofcf even macfe ignorant people.
-in loving memory of Mike Napoli
a hand reaches from amidst the gentle darkness
a darkness that we all fear, but cannot avoid.
this boy's hand grasps the strong hand of a father
and he steps into the light
no longer afraid.
he takes his first steps
and embraces his new life.
he no longer feels pain.
feeling only the warmth.
which shall forever surround him.
he shall spend his forever years
in this wonder
where all his dreams
may be touched.
this boy is not alone.
he is now embraced fully
openly, by the one
who will eventually embrace us all.
the days become years
and we all are reunited
so this goodbye
is only temporary.
so dearly will you be missed.
and this pain will dull
allowing our hearts to remember
your devotion, and love.
and we will dance among the memories
where only flowers now remain.
0ntt upon a time
Pp: gprtl Unefjr
3 lobeb pou once,
&nb j>ou bibn't fjabe lobe for me
Put fenoto tfjat 3 ftabe mobeb on,
|?ou babe founb a lobe for me.
gou gap it t£ because 3 fjabe cfjangeb
M pou truly lobe me,
W&\\p bib 3 babe to cfjange for pou to Hobe me?
Wfjat's; torong tottfj tf)e real me?
Birth of a
by David Molettiere
Finished on February 9,2000
October 31, evening
A battered, brown Ford LTD pulled up to the front of the Wild Turkey Kicker Club
and stopped, despite not being in a parking space, with its lights on. A woman dressed in
an elaborate banana costume stumbled out of the front seat, awkward in her outfit.
"When I find that no-good father of yours, I'm gonna.. .Oh, I don't know, but it's not
going to be very pretty," she commented in the direction of the back seat.
"I wanna come with you," whined a young boy who now sat alone in the car. He was
dressed in his favorite costume ever, that of the blue Power Ranger.
"No, dear, this is an adult party. It's not suitable for you. Just eat your candy and I'll be right
back." With that, she headed towards the entrance.
Timmy hated it when his mother left him alone like this. Still, he did have a rather
large haul from his trick-or-treating activities earlier in the evening. After several minutes,
he had eaten all the best pieces of his candy, and his mother still had not yet returned. He
pulled his mask back down and began to pretend that he was really a Power Ranger. "Go, Go,
Power Ranger," he started to sing repeatedly, with great exuberance, but with no skill. After several
more minutes had passed, he decided that a Power Ranger doesn't need to stay in the car. He
unbuckled his seatbelt and opened the door. He looked around, as if expecting his mother to
come screaming at him for disobeying her orders. She was nowhere in sight. Then, he rushed
towards the door his mother had entered. Just as he brushed past some adults, all whom were try-
ing to slow him down, he heard a loud voice say something about "fakes"...
November 4th, morning
Sean awoke, and with a just- waking forgetfulness, was again surprised by her surroundings,
her clothes, and most of all her body, until her memory of the past few days came back to her.
The memory of how she had been transformed at the Wild Turkey Kicker Club. 'I don't have to
sleep,' she thought to herself, 'so why do I continue to go to bed every night?' She realized that
force of habit might have something to do with it. However, she was afraid that this was a sign of
depression, that she was unwilling to face life as a super hero, and therefore wasted time each night
to sleep. 'This has to change. Perhaps, I'll start a nightly patrol over the city... '
As she mulled things over, she wandered around the apartment, noticing that Sherry was
gone. She found a note that read, "Sorry I couldn't stick around till you woke up, but I have a
class to attend. See ya later, Sherry." Classes! Sean hadn't even thought about what to do about
classes yet. Her only class on Mondays was a course in Ancient Greek taught by Dr. Drysdale.
She was never good about attending this class, as she had always been able to learn the material
without the lecture. 'In fact,' she thought, 'I may not need to worry much about my classes at all.'
To test her theory, she rummaged around and found her Greek book. Quickly skimming it, she
found that she could easily recall anything that she spent even a few seconds glancing at. 'I think I
won't be attending class today' she thought to herself with a smile, and then flew out the open
window to enjoy the sunny day.
November 4th, evening
'Well, that was certainly a nonproductive day' Sean thought to herself as she flew back
towards the apartment. Still, she felt she deserved some time off from school and other hassles
after recent events. She knew skipping school didn't exactly make her a good role model but how
could she explain to her classmates, her teachers, or her roommate Fred in the dorms? Later, she
thought to herself. These were worries for another time. Perhaps later in the week she would be
prepared to tell the world about her change. Perhaps for now she could at least enjoy her new-
found powers without fear or shame.
Such were her thoughts as she flew in through the open window of the apartment that she
and Sherry now shared. As Sean entered, Sherry looked up from the table where she was seated,
surrounded by a small pile of textbooks, notebooks, and loose paper.
"Oh, hi, how was your day?" Sherry asked.
"Oh, very relaxing. I know I shouldn't have missed classes, but still..."
"Don't worry about it," Sherry replied. "I found a copy of your schedule and talked to
your teachers. They were very understanding when I told them about your change."
"Y-you told them?" Sean sputtered, realizing that her secret was no longer so secret.
"Of course. I thought you might feel a little uncomfortable about telling everyone, so I did
it for you. I also got a list of homework assignments., .it's in here somewhere," Sherry continued
as she dug through a pile of papers. "Anyway, your dorm-mate, Fred, said that he was worried
when you didn't come back to your dorm room after the Halloween party and all. Don't worry, a
lot of students were transformed, so the administration is making special arrangements for all of us.
I made sure that your name was added to the list that they've got down at the dean's office."
'Great, now everybody knew. Everyone on campus, anyway. God, I wonder if my mom
will hear about it. Gahh,' she thought to herself. Sean was floored by the news, and tried to think
of something to say, when there was a knock on the door.
Sherry said, "Oh, that'll probably be Steve. He and I are going out tonight. I hope you don't mind
me leaving you alone again?"
A date? She's going out with another guy?' Sean thought. Then realized, no, she's not
going out with another guy. Sean began to realize he'd lost more than his genitals when he was
changed; he had lost Sherry. Who could blame her? After all, if Sherry had turned into a guy,
Sean wouldn't have wanted to date her anymore.
Sherry opened the door, revealing Steve, who stepped inside. They hugged and then Sherry
said, "Steve, I'd like you to meet my roommate, Sean; Sean, meet Steve." Sean looked up at Steve,
a tall athletic-looking guy with a blonde crewcut.
"Uh, nice to meet you," Sean responded more out of instinct than truth.
"Yeah, you too. Who would have ever thought you were a guy? Man, you're gorgeous,"
Steve replied as his eyes wandered from Sean's bare legs to her chest. Sherry elbowed him gently in
"Who's gorgeous?" she demanded, with a sarcastic smile.
"Oh, of course you are, honey, but jeez, I've never seen a guy I'd want to have sex with
before." Steve's gaze returned to Sherry to answer her, but returned almost uncontrollably to stare
"Yes, well, if you want to ever have sex with this girl again, you'd better start paying atten-
tion to me," Sherry responded mirthfully. "And on that note," Sherry continued, turning to Sean,
"we'll see you later. Don't wait up." Then Steve put an arm around Sherry and they walked out.
'So,' Sean thought, 'this is the way things are. Sherry doesn't, probably can't, love me. And
men... they want me. They'll all see me as nothing but breasts and legs.' Sean collapsed to the
floor, sobbing. After a few minutes, she realized that she was sitting next to a large pile of comics
that Sherry had conjured up, some that even Sean hadn't read. Scooping up the pile, she took them
to her private little Fortress of Solitude, realizing now how appropriate that name might be. Soon
afterwards, she put down the comics and started to think about how this mess was started.
October 18th, mid-day
It was a day like any other day in mid-October. The weather was beginning to turn cold,
and the leaves were beginning to change colors. Overcast grey skies loomed overhead, and Sean
felt the need to go out and do something. So, he got in his car and drove to the mall. For a while,
he wandered aimlessly, seeking whatever he could find. He sighed when he saw Christmas decora-
tions beginning to be displayed prominently.
"Can't they even wait till after Halloween?" he muttered to himself. Then he noticed the
Halloween Store. From outside, he could see hints of odd masks and costumes and was drawn
inside by his innate curiosity.
As he picked through what was there, he saw little out of the ordinary. He half expected a
salesperson to show him to a back room, where he would find costumes of a more fantastic, possibly
magical nature, but such was not to be. Then, he felt a hand on his shoulder and turned, not know-
ing what horrid sight might await his eyes. Yet, no monstrosity was there, no slavering demon or
drooling monster. Instead of some repugnant terror, he saw an attractive saleswoman who looked
"Hi, can I help you?" she began, and then paused, staring at him. "I've seen you before,
haven't I? On the college campus?"
"Uh, yeah, I think so. I'm Sean." He stared back at her lovely face and was awe-struck by
"Hi, I'm Sherry." As she spoke, he noticed her nametag supported her claim. "Are you just
looking around?" she asked.
Sean replied, "Well, I was thinking of maybe getting this," pulling a Superman costume off
the rack, "but I don't have either the physique or the hair for it." He brushed aside his long
blonde hair to emphasize this point.
"Hmmm, let's see what we've got," she replied, flipping through the racks of costumes.
Sean wasn't sure what she was looking for, he had already seen everything on the rack. Perhaps she
was looking for a Hercules costume; he had seen the Hercules and Xena costumes based on the TV
shows, but neither really suited him.
"Ah, here we go," she commented, pulling out a costume. "How about this? Your hair
would go well with this one."
He saw that she had pulled out a Supergirl costume. He wasn't quite sure what to say and
didn't want to offend her. "Are you serious?" he asked her.
"Yeah, I don't see why not. Guys dress up as girls on Halloween all the time, and you're
thin enough that you could probably pull it off." He hesitated, thinking it over, but was still going
to say no when she asked, "Do you have any plans for Halloween?"
"Well, no, but..." he started to say.
"Then, I'll tell you what. Why don't you meet me here on Halloween, about 5 o'clock.
That's when I get off work. Then, I can help you with your costume, and we can go to this club I
know where they're holding a costume contest. Okay?" She spoke with confidence. Once again,
Sean hesitated, staring at the costume, wondering if he could bear to be seen in public wearing the
costume. Sherry misinterpreted this pause, thinking he was looking at the price tag, and said, "I'll
even buy your costume for you. Well, how about it?"
Well, he couldn't fight it anymore. He realized that an attractive woman was effectively
asking him out on a date while offering to buy him the costume, which he might have wanted
anyway (as a collectible, if not as a costume). "Sounds great," he answered truthfully, but won-
dered if he would really have the nerve to go along with it. They talked for a few minutes more,
getting to know each other better, until finally he made some excuse and left.
Week before Halloween
Sean didn't see Sherry again during the days before Halloween. As the days passed, he
began to anxiously anticipate this date, much as a child would do for Christmas. Yet, he never
stopped to think for very long about the costume that he would be wearing.
October 31st, mid-day
When the day of Halloween finally arrived, Sean drove to the mall around 1:00, not want-
ing to be late. He ended up roaming the mall with little to do, but figured that it was better than
being late. Wasting a lot of time, Sean browsed through the bookstores and played games at the
video arcade, but he began to grow restless. Finally, he looked at his watch and it read 4:30, so he
headed over towards the Halloween Store. He waited outside, out of sight, not wanting to seem
too desperate by arriving too early.
Finally at 4:55, he walked into the store. Sherry was there, waiting on customers. When
she saw him, she waved and told him that she would be a few minutes. He watched her ring up
some purchases until one of her coworkers took over for her. Then, she beckoned him to follow
her. They left out the rear of the store, passing through a small employee's lounge where she
picked up a bag with a receipt stapled into its top. They headed towards the parking lot. Sherry
led Sean to her car, and he got in while she put the package in the trunk.
"I figured we'd go by my apartment first, get dressed, and then go out. You don't need to
stop by your place for anything, do you?" she asked.
Sean replied, "No, that's fine."
As she drove, he couldn't help but stare at her. She was so beautiful, with her long black
hair and her curvaceous body shown off by her tight mini-dress. After they arrived, she grabbed
the bag from the trunk and they walked to her apartment.
Once inside, she pulled out the costume from the bag, and asked him, "Well, do you still
want to go through with this?"
One look into her deep, dark eyes, Sean was left without the power to say no. "Sure, let's do it!"
She smiled. "Good, You'll need to shave first, face and legs. There's a razor and a bottle of
Nair in the bathroom. You can handle that by yourself, right?"
"Uh, yeah," Sean replied, not realizing all that might be entailed. Sherry pointed to the
bathroom, and Sean went inside, closing the door behind him. He stripped off his clothes and
applied the Nair to his legs. The cold, white substance shocked him, as he waited for it to do its
job. When time came to wash it off, he was surprised at the difference. His legs felt smooth and
silky. After shaving his face, he thought about putting his clothes back on, but chose to wear a
With only a pink towel wrapped around his waist, Sean opened the door and found Sherry
standing there with her costume already on. She was wearing a black dress with sparkles on it, a
belt consisting of metallic moons and stars, black fishnet hose, and black high-heeled shoes. She
looked at Sean and grinned, "Good, now go into the bedroom and put on the items I have laid
out for you. You'll need them to look like a woman." She pointed in the direction of the bed-
When Sean went in the room, he found a tight panty-girdle, a pair of fake breasts, a bra,
and a pair of red high-heeled shoes. He put on the bra with only a little difficulty, and put the
fake breasts in it; it seemed odd to look down and see them sticking out. The panty-girdle, on the
other hand, was a bit less comfortable. He could barely pull it up all the way, and it constricted
his body, making him become well aware of every breath. His genitals, however, did not fit at all,
until he realized that he was supposed to tuck them between his legs. After doing so, with a bit of
discomfort, he looked down and saw a very feminine contour.
Sherry walked in, looked him over, and said, "Good, you're ready to put the costume on."
She handed him the Supergirl outfit, and looked at it, trying to figure out how it should go on. It
came in several pieces: a tie-on red cape, two red "boots", a yellow tie-on belt, and a mini-dress
with a built-in red panty. He put it on, with assistance from Sherry, and it just barely fit. It was
very tight, showing off every curve of his body. Sean tied the belt around his much thinner waist
and the cape around his neck. Then, he looked at the boots, now understanding why Sherry left
him a pair of high-heels; the boots were very large and had no bottom except a piece of elastic,
allowing them to be worn over any pair of shoes. Sean wondered how Sherry could have guessed
his shoe size, but found the shoes only a little too small. His feet were pinched terribly, but they
did fit inside. Then he put the boots over them, and he thought he was done.
"Oh good, you're almost ready. Come." She beckoned him over to her makeup table,
where he sat down. Sherry explained what she was doing with each step, but Sean paid little atten-
tion, due to the fact that this was the first and last time he was ever doing this. Eventually, she
applied foundation, blush, blue eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, and bright red lipstick as Sean day-
dreamed about other things.
His daydreams ended suddenly when he felt the pain from Sherry plucking his eyebrows.
"Hey!" he commented.
"Hush, they'll grow back," she replied. Several painful minutes later, she proclaimed she was done.
He looked in the mirror, expecting to see a beautiful woman, but only saw himself with makeup on.
'I couldn't possibly fool anyone,' he thought as he pondered what reactions people would
have towards him. Then Sherry grabbed his right hand, and Sean looked to see her gluing long,
red, fake fingernails over his own fingernails. He figured she was done after gluing the fingernails
on, but she said that he still needed earrings.
"We'll have to get your ears pierced," she said with a grin.
She smiled. "Just kidding. Here." She handed Sean a pair of red clip-on earrings, which
he put on with some help from Sherry. "Now, I think we are ready to go," she told him. Sean
stood up, and Sherry grabbed her purse and a witch hat before leading him back to her car. It
took Sean several tries to open the door with those long red fingernails.
"How do women put up with these?" he asked. Sherry just shrugged. She drove them to
the club she had mentioned before, and Sean noticed a sign proclaiming it to be the "Wild Turkey
They got out and, as they walked to the door, Sean felt a cool breeze blowing against his bare
legs. He noticed other costumes while walking towards the door. Most people were unimaginative,
and many were in costumes Sean chose not to buy. The most unusual was probably a woman
dressed as an M&M. The others were more standard: a skeleton, a pumpkin, a cow, two people
dressed as a horse, a devil lady, a pair of gypsies, a Roman Centurion, and a guy dressed as a table.
There didn't seem to be much competition, so Sean still felt he had a chance of winning. When he
told Sherry this, she replied that it might help if she told the judges that he was really male.
Sean was surprised. "You mean, you think they won't be able to tell?"
"Of course not. Look." She replied, pointing at the club's window, which was reflective
due to the darkness. Sean saw a woman dressed as a witch standing next to a woman as Supergirl
and... Sean then realized that, though not as beautiful as Sherry, he looked like a woman. "One
thing that's been bugging me, though," she continued, "is, if Superman's home planet of Krypton
exploded, where did Supergirl come from?"
A smile crossed Sean's lips as he began to organize the information in his mind in such a
way as to explain to a non-comics reader all the pertinent knowledge. He told her of how Argo
City survived because of Superman's father's brother, how the inhabitants of the doomed city of
Argo had to deal with the ground beneath them turning into Anti-Kryptonite, how Superman's
father's brother had a child named Kara Zor-EI who was rocketed to Earth from Argo, how Kara
had patterned a costume after Superman whose adventures she watched from Argo City, how she
met Superman for the first time, how she became his "secret weapon", how she revealed herself to
the public for the first time, and how she died, sacrificing herself for the universe.
"She's dead?" Sherry asked.
"Yeah, in fact, they decided that she never existed. So they created a new version of
Supergirl who's not Kryptonian, but that's a whole 'nuther story," Sean stated. He didn't have
time to tell this other story, though, because they were now entering the club. They found one of
the few remaining tables and sat down. Sean was amazed at the large number of people packed in
such a small place, but it was made more unusual by the vast array of costumes. Harlequins, cave-
men, mice-women, zombies, and many other varieties surrounded them. Sean asked Sherry when
the contest was going to begin, but she didn't know. So, Sean asked a guy dressed as a Roman
Centurion as he passed by their table.
"Contest?! What contest?" he replied, then turned and walked away. Sherry gave Sean an
innocent look before confessing that she knew there was no contest. Just as Sean was about to
question her further, they were interrupted by a loud voice, proclaiming, "I have had it with this
room full of FAKES!!" Then the chaos began. After a lengthy pause, Sean looked down and real-
ized that he had been transformed.
**Author's Note-I have a few more plot lines for this story, but it would have made it too long for
this issue of The Gleaner. Stay tuned next semester and keep an
eye out for the first issue of The Gleaner for
the 2000-2001 school year. Part 2 will be
in it as I will finish writing it over the
summer break. Part 2 will explain many
questions you may have.**
WHO AM I?
I know what I am
By the tough strands of hair,
Permed each month for easier care.
I know who I am
By the thickness of my mouth
That I inherited undoubtedly,
From my people down South.
I know what I am
By the rhythmic way I walk.
By the timely step I dance,
And the Northern slang I talk.
I know what I am
When I stare at my reflection.
I look into my eyes and almost see perfection.
I know who I am
Not by the color of my skin,
But by the person I've found deep within.
By: Zofia "Princess " Martinez
NONE TO BE GIVEN
This is me,
This is who I am.
I try to impress,
But that doesn't work.
I sit and listen,
But I'm the only one talking.
I gave her my heart.
I gave her my time.
It was not enough.
All the bad things were found,
The good ones not discussed.
My respect for her,
Just a good act.
Now, not being close,
Our friendship fades.
I'm the backup,
The one for last minute calls.
But I will move on.
Always looking back though.
I will remember everything,
And hold it locked inside.
She will just glide along,
Missing something close within her.
As I walk down the halls,
I can see their smiling faces.
They stare at each other without reprieve.
My eyes are transfixed.
Would weather the wind of any hurricane.
They mend each other's wounds after each storm,
Despite the howling winds of my jealousy.
All they have,
Is all I lack.
I once had a girl,
But the core of my soul was not enough.
Was it me and a want for a closer friendship?
Or was it both of us that blew out the candle?
Frigid as ice.
That of a rock.
When something needed,
It is lifted up.
Filled with confusion.
Friends float by,
They'll never understand.
They are just there.
Sitting on the cement.
Taking in the silence.
What a good cover.
No one will see,
When the tears roll down.
Talking to yourself.
This is all you have.
Wishing for things,
Things you can only provide.
What's not right?
Relax, think, glide away.
This is where you're special.
Ma tthew Hastrander
The heart aches with all your pain.
My tears are with you,
I feel what you feel.
Blue that they are,
Your days are golden.
Explaining is the reason.
Tradition is the excuse.
Heart, tears, love
Are seduced by you
In a wave of talking lies.
The sun shines brightly
On you and your excuses.
Trust and to think of being near you
Are the clouds in my life.
You are what I must have.
You are what I must avoid.
The glow of your sun is fading now,
Your brilliant color blends.
Painting you is easy
By remembering why we became friends.
I heard the train stopped for you.
You had your pass to board,
And all our yelling and crying at you
To wait for us was ignored
The voice said you didn't have time to wave
Or say goodbye.
I cant imagine why.
The whistle sounds
And you sit in your seat.
Through your window, you look down.
And we think you are gone.
It can't be true, please.
But the name in print confirms it
You left, but you'll be back.
When we play our games
And say your name
When we see the reds and blues
It will be the same, won't it?
Scaredom is the nastiest word in the world.
It haunts you from here to there;
It finds you waiting for it to strike.
Alone, it rips through every hair.
It is dark and it is failure.
It is dangerous and all powerful.
It steals from you everything you believe in
And a few things you don't.
It is the undoing of man
And the doing of man.
Consumes you, envelops you, drunks you, saddens you.
Maddens you, crosses you, overtakes you, teaches you.
Scaredom is to be feared
And to be steered
Scaredom is to be heard
And not forgotten.
And then forgotten
Too weak to write
So the mind takes over
Too sad to cry
So the heart takes over
Too numb to hurt
So the feelings take over
Too tired to fly
So the spirit takes over
Too small to fight
So the feet take over
Too dumb to know
So the whip takes over
Too afraid to love
So the bitterness takes over
Too down to care
So the sandman takes over
Too hard to die
So the world takes over.
The strength of one light...
The heat of one flame. . .
Time beacons night
The sun is reborn
As are our souls
the collection of light. . .
The collection of heat...
The collection of life...
The reality of love. . .
Shine like the night
Cry like the day
White doves are everywhere
Seek and you will see
White doves are everywhere
As is simple beauty
WONDERS NEVER CEASE
As I think with the mirror
With only letters to confuse me
I wonder why I wonder
Of what I cannot see
His love is so real
That it seems like unreality
So, why do I feel
That I am not worthy
I've done nothing to others
Except give love in return
So why should I be bothered
With letting my heart burn...
Burn with the flame
I know will never die
Which shall always remain
As the sparkle in my eye.
The true insomniac leads a very scary life. Most insomniacs n
their evenings are full of activity, friends, music, dancing, food and other distrac-
tions. They are usually the liveliest at parties, trying in a vain attempt to chase
away the cobwebs building in their brains. However, unplanned nights are the
bane of their existence. Half of them are in their beds, anxiously listening to the
various noises of the night. The other half of them watch every infomercial, sit-
com rerun, and B movie shown during after-hours television. Both kinds of
insomniacs spend the daytime as zombies, trying not to fall asleep at work while
downing cup after cup of caffeine-laden coffee.
Among these poor, tired people is a legend of the Insomniac's Cafe. The
myth supposedly began in Kansas, spreading throughout the Midwest, and final-
ly engulfing the entire country. The legend goes that the Insomniac's Cafe looks
just like any normal diner. The upholstery is old and cracked, the counters are
stained, and the windows are smudged. Yet, the staff is cheerful and the place is
open all night. This is not unusual in any way. The thing that draws insomni-
acs from miles away is that the cafe brings the promise of sleep. Even the worst,
red-eyed insomniac, who has not had a decent night's sleep for years, gets relief
from one meal at the Insomniac's Cafe. Not one of them knows how or why it
works, and most don't care.
The only person who knows the secret of the cafe is Irma Rakefield, the
owner. A good-natured, buxom woman, she always has a smile or a piece of use-
ful advice for everyone. Her spirit lights up the lives of all her patrons. Yet, she
discovered a way to never pay an electric bill. With a method never to be
revealed or understood by a logical, thinking human being, Irma uses human
energy to run her business. As the customers eat and drink, their energy is liter-
ally sucked out of them. Many have a hard time actually driving home. For
those occasions, Irma maintains a little lounge in the back, complete with
couches and cots. It is not unusual to see a person dozing off at a table or the
front counter in a peaceful sleep. To top it all off, every person awakens
refreshed and happy. It is the true insomniac's dream.
Is it an alien presence feeding off the people's life force? Could is be a
Native American curse over that particular piece of land? Perhaps it is a gift
from the angel of insomniacs? The only soul that we can get the truth from is
Irma, and she happens to be enjoying a nap at the moment.
FOR THE LOVE OF HER
Farewell my love, for I will no longer fight for nothing.
I hope she will satisfy you, for I was put on this earth
only to serve you, not control you.
Your happiness lies with her, and I can't change that.
If it is ever a time when you are not pleased, I'll be here;
Just reach for the stars, whisper to God, and I shall return.
Our times were good, but I guess not enough,
her power over you is too strong.
Remember love endures, as I am love.
Your feelings for her selfishness will soon fade,
and you shall be free. . .to love. . .to love me.
Time awaits, and even though each minute feels like eternity,
when it is time for us to be joined again,
the time wasted will only be a few seconds,
for infinity lies ahead, and time will be
of no consideration in love's eyes.
As long as feelings are shared, there is a chance for us.
If our feelings have changed, then this is goodbye...
James E. Diamond, Ph.D.
Background. Because of living and working with Bulgarian people during 1993, 1995, and
1996, I developed a very special and warm empathy with regard to Bulgaria and its people. I
learned to appreciate and understand difficulties of Bulgarian lifestyles at urban, village and
rural levels. This understanding led to professional and personal ties with very hardy people.
A people who are tolerant to agony, hardship, and adversity. A people who boldly endured
strife and never lost faith in themselves nor their beloved country. To put into perspective
three unique Bulgarian experiences, I wrote the following poem titled "A People Hard,
Tolerant, and Bold" as an attempt to portray a summary of my inner feelings that evolved from
experiencing a tiny slice of life in a country having a very special people.
A People Hardy, Tolerant and Bold
Bulgaria, a country both young and old,
its people hardy, tolerant and bold.
Through centuries they have toiled its rich soils,
in times of prosperity, and times of spoils.
Their enduring tenacity continually quests for a path,
that one day will lead their beloved country from despair and wrath.
With her lands so vastly diverse and a populace strong willed,
labors of the devoted crave to be fulfilled.
As throes of change give rise to anxiety,
yet contentment of harmonious livelihoods remain hidden by obscurity.
Sure as the rugged Balkan mountains defiantly retain their majestic beauty,
the determination of Bulgarians to mold the face of their great Republic shall thrive for an eternity.
Like reverberating clinking sounds of Sliven's crystal,
Bulgarians recognize the vibrant anguish of tribulations for a life immortal.
With faith and hope, persevering Bulgarians untiringly toil to preserve,
a heritage that enriches freedoms all Bulgarians deserve.
Bulgaria, a country both young and old,
its people hardy, tolerant and bold.
Man on the Moon
She cried when first she saw it -i
Therei headlining the news -
"Han walks on the moon -
Hooray for all humanity!"
While all the world cheered
Everywhere around hern
She could only watch in silence
Wondering at their joy.
"One small step for mann
One giant leap for mankind."
These words echoed in her mind
As she wondered what direction
That step was taken ini
And why such great emotion
For a leap towards one's doom.
Uhat was this great advancement
That took away her youth?
Hope and dreams and childhood wishes
Lay now like scattered leaves
Trailing in the wake of this
Some called technology.
Tracy J. Hall
You seeinni fair away,
Over mountains andl hills
The beauty betweeiru us couldi never eoirnp;
To see you for a moment,
To have you embrace inme,
lit inmay sadldlen may heart,
But ][ must see you ag-ain.
ly niindl teases inme with your face.
the joy you give irne in a single moment,
Couldi last inme a lifetime.
][t only nuakes me want you more.
Hot tears streaming down ray face
As the realization hits me.
What was once there is gone.
Iff only our tiinrie together could last.
Each time 11 see you, I save you in my heart.
eyes fill with tears as your simile dlanees in my mind.
Every irnonuent with you is tuckedl away,
dleep ins idle of inme.
No one will know,
Or couldi even try to undlerstandl
all the hurt 11 feel when 11 must leave.
You andl I are the only ones who understand.
With all the pain andl anguish,
][ still need yo'u andl still love you.
Marietta C. Balliett
Crocuses spying mischievously
From behind tpe melting snow.
Bugle most delicate,
Proclaim the glory
Ruby tulips, seining bright,
Candles waxed and fair,
shed your bounce-bright light upon
T^e vital, radiant air!
floral stars on emerald spikes
That scent the air so dulcet.
O brilliant forsythia,
The Sol of Spring
Siberian squills gaze
With e^es of
Upon a fresh new world.
Delicate bells of Spring,
The Japanese quince blooms
In dainty splendor.
Many hued paintbrushes,
Tresh buds wait,
Poised to create
Bwtterj" (ies approach
T^e soft, delicate chalices
To receive t^eir cups
Flower picture by:
The way I feel for you;
It's like I've been there every
Step of the way
Like I know you so well;
Like you're my best friend.
I truly care about you
So very much
And even though I don't know
You, I feel I do because I
See some of me in you.
I envy your hard work
And perseverance and faith in
God through it all.
I think you've had a harder life than
You'd like to let
I feel your emotions as
You sing them in your songs.
I love your style in songwriting and singing;
I always have,
Ever since vision of love
I identify the most with you
Of any singer
And I feel the same things
As you do
And that's why I feel like
You're my best friend.
WITH YOU BY MY SIDE.
YOUR SOFT (EYES FORTELLING
THE FUTURE OF THIS MYSTIC EVENING.
THE SCENT OF COLOGNE
LINGERS UPON THE AIR,
WHICH GROWS INCREASINGLY HEAVY
OUR BREATHS BEGIN TO MINGLE
AND THE INTENSITY MOUNTS.
AS YOUR LIPS MEET MINE,
TIME NO LONGER CONTINUES.
WANDERING HANDS CARESS
AS THEY EXPLORE...
THE SOFTNESS OF YOUR LIPS
BRUSH OVER MY SENSITIVE SKIN,
SWEETLY TEMPTING, TEASING,
FUELING A BURNING PASSION.
THE DAWNING OF A LONGING,
SO DEEPLY EMBEDDED. -
CAUSED BY A WILDFIRE,
IGNITED BY YOU.
YOUR ARMS EMBRACE hAE
AS THE HEAT OF YOUR BODY
BY THE GENTLENESS OF YOUR KISSES,
MY HANDS CURL UPON YOUR BACK. -
CONSUMED BY AN ACHING
STIRRED DEEP WITHIN,
MY SENSES OVERWHELMED.
A WARM SENSATION AROUSED,
IGNITING A GENTLE SHAKING.
YOUR EYES AND YOUR LIPS
ONCe AGAIN GREET MING
BEFORE OUR BODIES FULLY INTERTWINE.
A PASSIONATE UNION
FEEDING FROM A PRIMITIVE NEED.
WHERE TWO BECOME ONE,
WHERE TWO, A WHOLE, BECOME SO STRONG.
A MOMENT SHARED
WHEN TIME SEEMINGLY STOPS.
AS THE BREATHING SLOWS
AND CLENCHED HANDS UNWIND,
THE NIGHT SEEMS WELCOMING
THE STARS TWINKLING A BIT BRIGHTER.
MY KNEES STILL WEAK,
MY BODY STILL QUIVERING,
I NUZZLE MY FACE
IN THE WARMTH OF YOUR CHEST,
TO THE STRONG BEATING OF YOUR HEART.
YOU ARE TRULY A GENTLE GIANT,
AND AROUSING BURIED EMOTIONS.
HERE I COULD REMAIN...
IN A PLACE IN TIME
WHERE TIME DOES NOT EXIST
AND I AM OVERWHELMED
BY YOUR WARMTH AND LOVE.
Dr. John Mischler
Dr. Karen Schramm
. The Beautiful?
Thirsts quenched by the
the universal language
Q^Ou Q^wd 'Q/ViaAt witA (y/ou
I anticipated the moment when our souls would unite.
I feared it would not have been the fantasy stuck
on repeat in my mind.
There was nothing extravagant or secret rendezvous
It was a gentle touch, a soothing sensation
that filled me from head to toe like molasses
fills a jar thick and smooth as it slowly
coats and protects the inner walls.
I thought there would nave been tears of fear
and frustration of regret.
It was peace of mind, body, and soul; a state
I knew I would never reach. . .
It was love.
All pre-conceptions and calculations were mere
false pretenses, for I mistook what I thought
would give me satisfaction.
My sweet prince of the ghetto became my knight in
Who would have thought you could be my everything?
Nothing of what I thought I wanted, but
delivered my every need.
You gave me love. . .
WHAT WOULD YDUDD...
If I told you "I love yau"
What would you do...?
Would you run away from me?
Would you say that your heart belongs to someone else?
Or would you say I love you too?
If I told you I wanted to kiss your lips
What would you do... ?
Would you say that your kisses belong to another?
Or would you return the kiss favorably?
If I told you my heart beats for you
What would you do... ?
Would you ask me to redirect the pulse of your soul?
Would you say that someone else is the keeper of your heart?
Or would you give your heart to me explicitly?
If I told you that I wanted eternity with you
What would you do... ?
Would you leave my life for always?
Would you tell me that you've promised eternity to someone else?
Or would you embrace my heart and soul and make this last forever?
~Z. Y. Martinez
EMOTIONALLY, WE'RE ON EMPTY, MOM!
How did you leave us, Mom?
Was it the galloping pneumonia suspected by the M.D.?
Did that turn out to be your best friend
At the very end? I heard it is.
Was it the weak ventricle in your heart?
Did it really burst, as Doc said it might?
What kind of pain or sudden surge of fear
Went through your chest, or mind, or body?
Or did you feel a sense of release?
When did you leave us, Mom?
The Doc called before 6:00 AM
To say you had gone.
Emotional shock waves ransacked us!
Only the night before you talked
And made light, funny remarks.
We did say, "Good night" but NEVER
Did it cross our mind to say
We even noted how beautiful the flowers
Were in your room.
The next morning
Our collective six eyes gazed
Upon you-still warm.
The flowers drooped.
Did they know the answer?
Did the nurses know?
Did the doctor know?
Or was it a secret between you and God?
Why did you leave us, Mom?
We weren't ready for your departure.
We hung our heads and empty hears in pain
As we left that room.
And I realized the M.D. was right:
You had left it before we did.
Rev. Dr. Richard C. Ziemer
Marietta C. Balliett
THINGS I WANT
Jo love you and be loved.
Jo feel your warm embrace.
Ho cry and have you ask why.
Jo have you cry and tell me why.
Jo have you paint me a picture in my
head of your favorite memory.
Jo have me paint one for you.
Jo sing and dance together.
Jo lie on the grass and gaze at the stars.
Jo dance barefoot in the rain
In the middle of the field.
Jo talk of our dreams and of our expectations.
Jo have you love me.
JUST LET ME BE
Just kiss me and let me
nuzzle my round face in the warmth
of your chest while you tangle
your fingers in my curly locks.
tell me that you want to remain
here, forever in this moment
that there are no preparations for the marrow
no eyes need to bleed over pages of white
sprinkled with pepper lettering
that there are no tears that need my
kiss to soften their dagger of sorrow.
So that instead I may lend my
eyes to the pink sky and watch as
Mother Nature closes her eyes.
Let me lie in the arms of a man
who exudes qualities unknown to others
who share in his era
let me lay in his strong arms
to share time and exchange smiles and
exist as I may
in my own accord
blossoming into womanhood
spreading my butterfly wings
ever so gently, yet with the power of
all packaged into
a small frame.
Just let me be
to share this moment in the
safety of his arms under the
pink of night.
Girl picture by:
Ann C. Anderes-Mullen
BLOOD LUST UNTO LOVE
You fill my life,
my every thought.
Owning all parts of me,
taking my soul.
As one we walk,
through eternal darkness.
You envelop my being,
swallowing all of me.
for your searing touch.
to devour every piece of you.
You course through my veins, i
raging, sweet, and warm.
Bringing excruciating pleasure,!!
felt in the deepest recesses of myfsoul.
With the blood-curdling screams we share,
it is shown unto us we were meant to walk
MY TEARS WERE IN THE RAIN
I had a dream one night that you hac
left my side and when I arose, your ^
presence had vanished.
You had slipped into the very existence
you had tried to oppress.
You failed to release your burdens to
A higher level and broke your covetous bond.
My tears were in the pond.
Time and time again, my friend, I tried
to give you what you needed
Yet you wouldn't accept it, for you did
not understand or it didn't fit your
rationale as if my unconditional love
I gave you signs when you asked and
you brushed them off as mere coincidence.
My tears were in the lake.
I couldn't believe you had me in the places
your flesh chose
I cut my heart deep for you to say those
and feel so cold in the cruel, cruel
You allowed yourself to be acceptable
to its plea and tried to satisfy us
in its debt.
I nearly quivered as my tears
were in the river.
Why are you so stuck on what will
get you by?
Eros love and short term highs?
What makes you think you can
survive by denying your existence
and confusing who you are?
Did I not show your miracles?
How else would you have come this far?
I continue to give you the breath in your
lungs and the strength in your body.
What else do you need to see?
Is it not all done?
My tears were in the ocean.
Then I turned to my Father and asked
him where you had gone and were
you ever coming back home?
He said, "don't worry, my Son, for he
just went down the block. The
Holy Spirit is with him, Child,
don't be in shock."
He assured me that you would come
back to me as all your days ordained.
I couldn't help to express my joy
by sending my tears in the
Dreaming can be frightening
When you dream,
All things are possible.
I love to dream...
However, it can be frightening
To imagine you ha\/e everything.
Ha\/e you dreamed without effort or struggle?
Is that frightening to you?
No dream is too good to be true...
-Z. Y. Martinez
Picture by: Tracy J. Hall
12 AND CENTRAL
In the darkness,
A child spoke
And offered up a gift
Of words dark and empty
To match a heart the same.
In the darkness,
A child spoke
In pained tongues
Of fear and denial
In a world beyond Hell.
In the darkness,
A child took comfort
And sought even to smile
Knowing none would see
Dew fall from a cheek.
In the darkness,
A companion responded
With gentle words
To soothe a troubled soul -
For blood runs thick
From scars unhealed
With darkness as a veil.
But a child knows
And fears the light
Which shines with truth and mistrust
For companions are vampires
Who flee from the glare,
Leaving wounds freshly opened
To bleed in the sun.
In the darkness,
A child prays
For Dawn to take refuge
In a world far away.
But Reality strikes
Like the whore that she is,
And somewhere in the darkness,
A child speaks
"The sun shall rise."
Tracy J. Hall
I honestly don't know how
I did it-
Or how you did it
For that matter-
How I seem to have
Stumbled onto this
Where there's an
Equal amount of trust,
Love, forgiveness, and loyalty.
I must say
I've been truly blessed
To have met and to know
For all the things you do,
And the ways you've influenced
For all the hard decisions
You've helped me through,
For all the times
Been a shoulder to cry on
If I don't succeed at
Anything in my life;
My career, my family,
I'll know I've done right
By remaining best friends
And that's all I'll
Ever need to remain the same
Throughout my life
In whatever I do.
The day everything was to be divided according to the will, the child was told to go forth
and choose a single item from the old house. There hovered about her milling aunts and
uncles, nephews and nieces, and cousins she had only heard about, faces she has seen only in
pictures, names as distant as those from a book read long ago. The child moved through this
crowd and looked at the articles strewn about. They were different, somehow, as though the life
had fled them the day her grandmother left. They were no longer arranged in their usual loca-
tions, but heaped in neat segments for easy sorting, crowded together into a few large rooms so
that the remainder of the house was left spidery and still. There was much bustle here in the
front of the house, but even in the vortex of activity, the presence of the remaining rooms
could not be ignored. They were felt in the airy pauses between words, noted in the hushed
voices, whispered about as the remaining rooms were gutted. There was a solemn finality to it
all. Once the items were dispersed, the old house was to be old, the profits split among those
left behind. No one wanted to live in this old section of town anymore. Everything remaining
was whittled down to its value. Reduced to calculable figures-dollars and cents to be split
equally and legally-until one whole lifetime became nothing more than a small fragment of the
Oh, it wasn't quite so cold as that, perhaps, but as the child moved from pile to pile,
room to room, and back again, she intuitively knew, instinctively felt the undercurrent in the
house-the hushed discussions of value, the quiet urgings of those about her. She heard behind
her, and dodged the steps of paper and pencil, calculating, black-tied business suits, and brief-
cases. She reached a thin hand out to caress one intricately carved panel of a wooden desk, felt
the soft texture of the finely hewn chairs, stroked the rich luster of a polished table. "That's a
beauty there. Why that's got to be worth at least..." She moved on, weaving between the
antique furniture, the hand blown glassware, the delicate figurines. She looked at her own
reflection, distorted in the shining dip of a polished silver spoon. She studied her pixie face,
puckering her pinched mouth into a perfect o. she furrowed her brow, watching as the reflec-
tion shifted and slid about on the smooth surface of the silver. There were those who felt she
was too young for such a monumental task. Many had commented that such a young child
should not be thus exposed to the harsh realities of life. Well-meaning busybodies suggested
that the child be ushered outside until the business dealings were over. The child's inheritance
should be determined by those who knew her needs, they said, those who could make proper
investments, and then someday... but on this her guardians had stood fast. It was her grand-
mother's wish that the girl take one item of her own choosing, with no prodding or prying
from other family members. It was not unfolding quite as planned, for no law could prevent
meddlers from bumbling about the girl, exclaiming first one sentiment and then another with a
great abundance of head nodding and finger shaking. But she was within the great old house at
last, and though she wasn't sure just what she was seeking, she knew she would stumble upon
it soon enough.
She looked at the perfectly matched sets of antique silver, watched the light dance in little
droplets along its ridges as she carefully replaced the spoon she had removed. There were
spoons from all over the world in this box. Grandmother had been a traveler in her youth, and
she always returned with some small token, some finely etched silver spoon that spoke of mys-
terious places, dashing evening, gallantries... The child's eyes glowed for a moment as she
recalled the fantastic stories her grandmother used to tell. How she loved to laugh and tell sto-
ries! Even when the child had been too young to understand some of them, she had always
laughed too. Her grandmother had such a contagious laugh. Such fun...
The child moved again, then, around more boxes, some piled as tall as she, and then she
found herself quite suddenly at the entrance to the hall. Her little steps padded lightly as she
moved down the hall. It was suddenly very quiet and echoey away from the bustle of people at
the front of the house. Everything looked different with the rooms so empty and still. Yet, it
was still the same, somehow. One could almost recall the familiar scents - powder and sweet
soap and gingerbread. Yes, when you parted your lips just slightly and breathed ever so shal-
low... She padded softly into the last room on the right. It had been her grandmother's bed-
room. The large four poster bed had been removed, and the girl noted the bright spot on the
rug where the dresser had stood; the sun had bleached the rug all around it. The sun had
always shone in the room, from the large windows framing the corner of the house. It was still
brightly lit, and with the white lace curtains removed, the scattered shadows that used to float
across the floor were gone. It was still airy, light, and sweet, like the first breath after the cool
summer rain when everything smelled sweet and fresh and new. Four deep prints remained
where the legs of the over stuffed chair had rested. How many times she had sat in that chair,
little feet not quite touching the floor, watching her grandmother prepare for an evening out, or
reading to her, or — her eye caught the closet door and she moved to it, swung open the door.
The shelves were all stripped bare with the boards removed and stacked against the wall. This
had been her closet. What a store of wonderful things it had contained! All of grandmother's old
clothing had been kept here. When she was tired of wearing something or it had worn out or
gone out of fashion or, the girl realized with a smile, whenever she had taken a special liking to
something, grandmother would announce with a flourish, " this looks like it belongs in Lindy's
dress-up closet." And out it would come: out of the big double sliding door closet across the
room and into the dress-up closet. Such hats and scarves and beads — oh, the assortment was
ridiculous - but how beautiful they had made her feel! The two of them would dress up togeth-
er. Sometimes grandmother would even allow Lindy to pick out her outfit, and no matter how
outrageous the combination was, grandmother would don it with attentive care and a great
show of preparation and excitement. Then they would have hot chocolate — that was always
their favorite drink -and sip it bit by bit out of sandwiches cut into fancy bite size pieces for
their luncheon date. The girl began to laugh again as she remembered the times they used to
have. What times they were! Now, she shut the closet door, gently feeling the latch catch softly
beneath her palm. She knew, suddenly, what it was she was going to take from this old house.
She traced the path of the room again, lingering in the corner where that old stuffed chair had
been. She remembered once asking her grandmother why the old chair was kept in her bed-
room. "It's the most comfy chair you own, grandma. How come you don't have it in your sit-
ting room 'stead of way back here?" And her grandmother had laughed, her whole face lighting
up, her eyes glittering with mischief. "Thar old thing, Lindy dear? Why, it's so tattered and
patched and worn."
"Yes, but it's the most comfy one in the whole house." The child said this with such
stubborn self-righteousness that her grandmother had laughed again.
"Let me tell you a secret, Lindy." And Lindy had climbed up on her lap in the big old
chair. "I keep my finest furniture in the front room for all the world to see and sit in and
exclaim over, but the best furniture I keep hidden in the back so that it will be especially com-
fortable just for you and me."
Lindy had pondered that for a long time, sitting in that chair, until her grandmother had
said, "If I moved this chair to the front, then we wouldn't be able to sit in it here. We would-
n't want that, would we?" And that, at least, had made perfect sense to her.
"I like it best right here, grandma."
She had laughed again, and kissed the top of her head. "So do I, Lindy, my dear."
A shout from the front room brought her out of her reverie. Lindy's chest heaved slight-
ly. They were starting to look for her. She cast one last glance around the room, then pattered
softly back down the hall. She knew now exactly what she would take from Grandma's house.
She could almost feel the soft cushions, sense the warm embrace of so many days long gone,
wrapped up in that old chair. She was certain the light and scent from this room would be
preserved forever in the worn fabric. Yes. The finest of everything was displayed in front,
Lindy reminded herself, but the best, the very best, Grandma had reserved just for her.
Now she only had to find it.
High School Writing
The English Department
is very happy to have sponsored its third
high school writing competition,
which was designed to showcase the work
of young writers in the area.
We are amazed at the talent, sensitivity, and
ear for language shown in their poetry and prose.
Our thanks and congratulations go to them, their families,
and, of course, their English teachers!
Wissahickon High School
A ragged trail of life
I drag behind me,
Frayed and shredded,
Is ripped and torn
With every step.
There 's a solemn old man
Who walks behind me,
Quietly and expectantly,
The fragments of life
I leave behind,
The fundamental value
In the youth of the life
He once wasted away. . .
The particles relish
In his hand. . .
A chance to live again!
And the man tries
To treasure the remains
I skip over and neglect,
The remains in which
Life 's true
Meaning and sentiment
Upper Dublin High School
Dr. Sharon Traver
A teenage girl,
Sits on the corner of the stool
At the edge of the counter,
One leg dangling to the floor,
The other beneath her.
Black shoes, black dress, red scarf,
Wrapped around her pale neck-twice.
Her auburn hair is pinned up,
Twenty-two bobby pins stuffed into a bun.
She hurriedly tucks the escaped tendrils behind her ear.
A patch of freckles covers her nose,
Little polka dots on smooth fabric.
She bites her lip, pearly whites over tender pink,
And looks down at her hands.
Her fingers outline the counter top's grooves
Repeating the same circular pattern cut into the glass-cut deep.
"Six minutes," he said, "Be right back and I love you."
She looked towards the clock and smiled-six minutes were up-
Jumped off the stool and walked into the winter night,
Shook her hair and laughed, locks blowing wildly
Twenty-two pins falling to the pavement.
Thomas J. Bassinger
North Penn High School
A LITTLE LEAGUER'S DREAM
A little leaguer's dream
To play baseball
To swing a wooden bat
To feel the stinging sensation
Vibrating through my tingling body
Wrapping my hands around it for the first time
A surge of energy like electricity
Transforming me to a man
Connecting with the stitched leather
The smell of success
Overwhelms as I can hear the sound
Of a bat echoing
Like the rippling effect of a stone tossed into a pond
An object of my strengths
An object of my power
An object of my skill
Resembling my future
Its rigid smoothness interrupted
Marking the years of my childhood
And the rise and fall of my dream
Friends' Central School
HIS PORCELAIN HEART
when he slept she would join his dream
the two would reach out under the sheet to find another hand
when she spoke his mind processed nothing
his chest would swell with warm devotion as he became lost in her face
he would walk the halls of his hotel
dazzled by the neon glow from the soda machine
he reached his room, swearing he could smell her as he climbed into bed
he would rise from the subway steps
gazing at the darkening sky
thinking about how bright she could make it
his absence from her arms never existed to begin with
but the man woke a day with space between his mind and her heart
found his hand at his side not hers
he stood up
took a step back
when she spoke his mind processed nothing
except the notion that he could hear surprisingly well
for the distance between them
he found himself staring with relentless apathy
at the finger-less ring discarded on the pillow
he reached out in dream
found no reception
so he lay and danced
with the memory of a moonlit missed chance
shattered his own porcelain heart into
hapless fragments on the bed
Upper Dublin High School
Dr. Sharon Traver
It's a freezing Saturday in deep December. From my place in the open door-
way, I can see the road, and on it the people on their bikes riding to work,
school, or the town market. They're all hurrying, and not because they have a
particular reason to rush. The bikers have simply found that pedaling furiously
will keep them much warmer than sitting still in their apartments, comforted
only by the tiny, regulation heater that is allowed in this specific countryside
town outside of Xi'an, China.
I would love to have a bicycle, or a heater for that matter. But Ma's stall
at the market doesn't bring in enough money for either, and she cries when I
complain. I don't complain much to her, because I don't know how to comfort
her when she's in tears, and it scares me.
Father says that my feet are more reliable than a bike any day, and that
blankets will always last longer than electric heaters. I know he only says that
out of pride, because if his daughter openly gawks at other people's luxuries, he
will lose face. "We have what we have, Shan-Shan," he explains over and over,
every day, even when I don't mention the subject at all. "It's enough."
Sometimes I wonder who he's reassuring.
Today, like every other winter day, I am up long before dawn for my
morning routine. I lay breakfast out on the table for Ma and Father, who are
getting ready for work, and I begin to get dressed. Two pairs of pants and three
sweaters, one over the other; my seat in school is close to the back of the room,
so far away from the squat little coal stove propped against the teacher's desk
that I might as well be halfway across the world for all the heat that reaches me.
At about five o'clock I start on my daily trek to the schoolyard. In my neigh-
borhood, there aren't many children. I'm very alone as I weave my way through the
roadside collection of makeshift houses all much like my own. The houses look sad
to me. Huge cracks between poorly fitted beams make the walls of the houses look
injured, full of gaping sores that the weather can only make worse.
The road to school isn't short. I arrive at about five-thirty. Along with
other students, I set about cleaning up the classroom: washing windows, sweep-
ing floors and dousing them afterwards with a bucketful of icy tap water, light-
ing the coal stove so the teacher can keep warm. Already my fingers are frostbit-
ten and sore, but in a while they'll be numb.
Our history class today is about some inventor, an American that came up
with the idea of the light bulb. I wish I could do that; just come up with a
wonderful, useful idea off the top of my head and wind up in history books,
where everyone would know my name.
While I daydream, my history teacher paces around the room, glaring first
at some unfortunate soul who happens to be in her line of vision, then at her
notes on the blackboard. She's not in the best of moods.
Unfortunately, I fall into her line of attack. "Liang Shan!" Her voice rings
against the plain concrete walls and I hope I've misheard. I haven't. "Tell me,
what was the first invention of this Mr. Edison?"
I answer, "The light bulb." I haven't been listening, and it seems like my
best guess, I never get to find out if I was right.
"Look at me and stand when you answer. You've been in my class for six
years now, you know my rules. Stand, look me in the eye, answer... and pay
attention while I am teaching." She frowns disapprovingly at me, and I cower.
She turns, walks away, far away, to the front of the classroom and the
warmth of the coal stove. I feel my fingers tingle, and I wonder what it would
be like to have heat. The cold goes to my head, and I start to doze. . .just
enough so that I completely miss the fact that my name has been called several
times. The teacher is standing over me, menacing.
"You do not sleep in my class," she growls. "Even the students who come
from decent homes and parents with respectable jobs seem to have no trouble
paying proper respect in the classroom." She looms above my head, and I feel
myself shrinking, drowning in my sweaters. "Go home," she says, slowly and
deliberately. "And make a decision. Either learn how to stay alert in school, or
learn to be a good butcher because that's the only option you'll have."
I leave, ashamed, stripped of my dignity. No one discusses my mother's
job. Many of my classmates' parents teach at the university nearby. Mentioning
my differences wasn't right of her, but there it is. It can't be undone.
I approach my home, and the houses by the roadside look cruel now, not
injured. The beams in the walls and leaky roofs are like crooked teeth, gri-
macing, mocking, saying, "This is your place. This is what you will become."
I shove open the door to my house, trying to vent my anger before I get
inside. I lie on the bed for a time, thinking. By the time my parents get
home, I am resolved.
I am going back to that school, and I am going to become something. I
am going to America, or anywhere, someplace where I can become someone.
I'll be a doctor, an engineer, someone indispensable, someone the world needs
and can't ridicule. I have what I have... but I want more. It's not enough.
I tell Ma. After all, ambition is a useful thing to have, isn't it? She should
be proud. But she only cries, and it scares me. I don't know why she is crying,
and I can't comfort her.
Upper Dublin High School
Dr. Sharon Traver
THE NUT CRACKER
He sits there, on an old picnic bench, stained with many children's spills
and artwork, mesmerized by mysterious forces, forces of age and wisdom. He
meticulously works on cracking the many pecans, piled high in a basket,
pecans that his now rough skinned hands planted into the rich soil. He is
filled with stories, of immigrant boats and life in Argentina, of my grand-
mother as a beautiful teacher, and of cows and chickens, but his serene face
reveals nothing. Beneath those many wrinkles and sun caused freckles lies a
heart made of dedication and patience, an enigma understood by few. He
quietly continues to hammer the smooth, brown shells. His bruised and
dried fingers grasp instinctively, tightly gripping his tool. His standards
demand that each pecan must be removed exactly by his procedure. Crack
lightly on the side, peel, and GENTLY remove the heart with the tips of the
thumb and index fingers. The few remaining hairs on his scalp are moist
from the sweat trickling down his sideburns. He never adapted to the hot
"Yaaaaaaaacooooov!!!!!!" The high-pitched scream sounds form the
kitchen. His composure remains unchanged; he continues to work.
"Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacooooooooooooov! COME HERE!" The frantic voice
sounds again. With his Sony headphones, fitted comfortably on his balding
head, he hears nothing of this panic. She marches out of the kitchen, hands
placed firmly on her hips. The dress she wears, made of bits and pieces of sur-
plus cloth; cloth used to make pajamas and dresses for her twelve grandchil-
dren, reveals her swollen ankles. She is a woman of hard work and produc-
tiveness, of efficiency and rules, of results. Her white clogs cause a steady tap-
ping, like a horse walking down a stone path. She hurries down the two mar-
ble stairs and begins lecturing, mechanically switching to Spanish, hoping
another language will produce some impact, and cause different results.
He looks up at his wife, like an innocent child, unaware of his crime. He
raises his eyebrows and smiles, his gleaming dentures sparkle. She glares back,
emerald eyes trying to penetrate his equanimity. They have been married for
fifty years, but still she possesses her frenzied ways, and he, his calmness.
Ridiculing his obliviousness, the state of the kitchen, his clothes, his looks, her
house, she rambles in a rage, slurring her words into a jumble of confusion and
anger. He raises himself, revealing his pale, now tender legs, bulging with crim-
son and azure veins. She continues to bicker and complain, about life, money,
children, him. He approaches her, his aged body moving slowly, not in pace
with his heart and mind. His sky blue eyes gleam with energy, and he opens his
massive arms, encompassing her frail physique. She turns away, determined to
get her way, but in reality concealing her smile. He wraps his once muscular
arms around her soft arms, which feel like a newborn's. Her baby powder
aroma fills his nostrils, and young and old mix through his mind and memories,
wondering where time disappeared.
She lets out a giggle. A youthful laugh, like the one that slipped through
her stern lips the first time he held her hand. They stand there, arm in arm, for
a moment. She lowers her head to his bony shoulder and sighs as they descend
their bodies to the bench to recapture their breath. With their fingers inter-
twined, they sit. The couple with the old bones and young hearts.
Upper Dublin High School
Dr. Elizabeth Treat
(This is meant to be read a stanza in column one, then a stanza in column two, and
so on except for when the columns come together.)
She walks into the room
timid and meek,
stunned by his presence
afraid to speak.
He stands there and fears
the nearing footsteps he hears,
but composes himself
as her form appears.
How relaxed he seems,
and how gorgeous too,
she can't help but wonder
if he can see through.
She looks like a goddess,
so calm and at ease.
He hopes she doesn't notice
that he's weak in the knees.
Her body stands frozen
to watch her spirit advance,
it draws nearer and nearer,
then asks him to dance.
His joints tighten up
as panic sets in,
but part of him moves forward
as it sheds it's stiff skin.
Then trumpets sound
and lights dance around,
as each spirit rejoices
for the other it has found.
While each empty body,
still several feet apart
sees before it's eyes
what it longs for in it's heart.
After one glorious moment
of rapture and delight,
her frozen skeleton melts
as soul and body reunite.
What wondrous warmth that filled him,
had long ago passed,
but something else was inside now,
for his soul completed him at last.
With hope in her eyes she intended
to see that fantasy and reality be blended,
but to no avail; she was destined to fail
for the ballad had already ended.
Why hadn't he done it earlier?
For that was the last slow dance,
tied up in fantasies, the song passed by
as did his only chance.
TILE GLEA1 TEIi
thhad dwrhiv ibz uz&d&ui!;
year by Delaware Valley Colhgz
jmdzmD, The Gl
l2£l'H2T ID li
publication and the opinions expressed
within are not necessarily those of the
Gleaner staff or the administration, N
the College nor the staff will assume responsibility
fur ■fjhiohi'rlym •imkuovAii'/liy oupiiTn-ng wh/An,